“…a great year-round option for those who don’t want to fork out for multiple sets of riding shoes”
When I started riding back in mid 2015, there was really only one manufacturer in the MTB flat shoe game (their name rhymes with Shmive Ten…), and if like me, you sit squarely in the flat pedal camp, your choices were either to rock an old pair of skate style shoes, or cough up the dough for a pair of Five Ten Freeriders. In recent years however, we’ve seen an increasing number of contenders, creating tempting alternatives to the classic Freerider design. Ride Concepts are one such contender… The Lake Tahoe based footwear company offer a range of both Flat & Clipless shoe options for Men, Women and even little rippers, all geared specifically towards Mountain Biking. The Hellion is available in Mens and Womens options and in a couple of smart looking colours to boot (pun intended).
First impressions of the Hellions are good, although slightly snug fitting (consider sizing up half a size if you intend to wear thick socks underneath them). Ride Concepts have built a solid, grippy shoe, sporting a similar slim profile to the Five Ten Freerider Pro, yet still competitively priced with a standard Freerider (These are popping up around the £80 mark at the time of writing this review). The Soles are plenty stiff, creating a very efficient pedalling platform and despite not being the softest, grippiest rubber that Ride Concepts offers, you certainly wouldn’t know. These have been glued to my pedals on every ride, in all weather conditions and haven’t missed a beat.
So, after a few months of regular abuse, how are we getting on with the RC Hellions? They are holding up very well indeed, with minimal wear and tear up top, and no signs of my rather long-spiked Burgtec pedals tearing up the rubber underneath, as can happen sometimes with the softer soled shoes. In wet weather conditions, the Hellion seems to resist water and muck well, despite the vent holes around the toe area. The padding is fairly minimal too, meaning that, should you get them soaked, they dry out nicely without too much effort. The one negative to the slim profile of the Hellion is that the heel and ankle area is a little bit lower than some, which felt a little strange at first but hasn’t affected the overall performance. Should this be a concern though, Ride Concepts do offer the TNT and Powerline models which feature generous high-top ankle protection. In hot weather, the Hellion breathes well, for a weather-resistant shoe, making them a great year-round option for those who don’t want to fork out for multiple sets of riding shoes.
A competitively priced, sturdy set of flat pedal shoes, which should see you through all four seasons for a few years to come.
Pros:-Stiff Soles & Sticky rubber-Well Built & competitively priced-Fast drying
Cons:-Slightly low cut around the heel and ankle area